tv Jansing and Co. MSNBC September 16, 2013 7:00am-8:01am PDT
it's a man with a gun, was. they were responding to that scene. we've heard conflicting reports on whether they had gotten to him or not. but it does sound like this is in the last phases here, at least of the active shooter part. there are conflicting reports that the shooter is wounded, but it does sound like that's what most of these reports are beginning to indicate now and that they're responding to see precisely whether he's still alive, what his condition is, whether he's still a danger or not. in any event, he was heavily armed when he came into the navy yard building this morning. he was carrying at least one kind of long gun, either an assault rifle or a shotgun. we don't know which it was yet, and a handgun. so obviously a person who was heavily armed. we're told he's a black male and we don't know whether he's civilian or military. we don't know where the shooting started.
we had heard at one point that imbegan o it began outside and moved inside but all of this is to be determined here shortly. the best information we have at this point is seven victims. so we assume it's the six either civilian or military employees there plus the shooter for seven, plus two law enforcement people, one d.c. policeman and one federal policeman. those were the initial reports. we have to caution repeatedly that in an ongoing, very hot situation like this where information is being passed along in a fragmentory way, it's often subject to change, so none of this should be considered to be the final word here. but it does sound like the shots that hit the victim were fired at about 9:30. now about half an hour ago. you've heard that the traffic -- the street traffic in that area was shut down. the metro stations in the area
were shut down. the subway stations. but we've also been told that the d.c. airport, washington reagan national airport just across the river from the navy yard has also temporarily suspended operations because of the flight patterns being so near the helicopters over the building. >> i've just been handed a note that washington hospital center is receiving the wounded from the navy yard but they don't have any numbers yet to tell us about people who may have been brought to them. help us to understand the scene because you're talking about all the different places that are either shut down or on alert including concerns about the air traffic because of the helicopters coming in. we have a very cursory map that we've been showing but where is the navy yard in relation to other things that people would know, like capitol hill, like the white house. >> reporter: all right. so there's the map that shows the navy yard. if we can put that on full screen it will be a little easier for all of us to see.
it's across the river. the airport is on the other side of the river, not exactly opposite. but you have airplanes going up and down the river on final approach to washington national airport coming from both directions sometimes, depending on the weather. >> all right, thank you very much, pete williams reporting for us. let's go to nbc's clint vanzant, former fbi profiler. clint, if these initial reports are true, and again we're always with a note of caution when we have situations like this because it is chaotic, but it looks as though this shooting started at 8:20 and they may have taken the suspect into custody about an hour and ten minutes later of that was a monumental task they had if indeed he was in this building of 3,000 people. >> it was. the question is many times, chris, a shooter doesn't have an escape plan. he or she -- they're angry, perhaps it's violence in a workplace scenario where they
have a particular office or particular person in mind and they go in and carry out some terrible act. as pete williams and others have reported, we've got somewhere between seven and ten people, to include the shooter, that have been wounded so far. many times you find that shooters in a situation like this don't necessarily have an escape plan. they don't know what they're going to do after they do the shooting. so when law enforcement responds, they have a confrontation. police officers give them a choice, surrender or die. many times they'll engage in a gun battle. we know that two police officers have been injured. but many times ultimately either the person will be injured, they'll throw their weapons down and law enforcement will be able to close off that chapter of this event that's going on. but in the meantime, chris, they have to find out who the person is, did anybody contribute to this as far as helping to plan, helping to provide the weapons, vehicles, so even if the shooter
has been identified, the shooter has been wounded, the shooter is in custody right now, there is a tremendous investigative effort that still has to go on to identify the motive and anyone else who might have been involved in this situation, chris. >> just to update those numbers, clint, wrc, our affiliate there in washington, d.c., is reporting ten total. four, we believe, have been killed in this shooting incident out of a total of seven victims who worked in those offices. wrc reporting that four have been killed. then we also heard two police officers were hit. we believe that the shooter was injured in this now what we know to be deadly incident. this is a military official at the navy yard reporting. now new numbers. four killed, eight wounded and the shooter is down. four killed, eight wounded, the shooter is down. that's one source which we will be double checking. clint, assuming that the shooter
is indeed in custody, one of the first questions you have. >> yeah. well, of course you want to find out was anyone else involved? are there any other collateral incidents that were supposed to go on? in essence, did he have anybody working with him who was either going to participate in this assault or take some other action in the washington, d.c., area in the same time frame? >> so was there potentially any other ongoing danger? >> yes, yes. this is the tactical information we need. is there a danger, is there a possible danger to anyone else, any buildings from weapons, explosives, anything like this whatsoever. that's what law enforcement will be trying to find out. then they will move on to who are you, what's your background, what was your motive for doing this, who knew that you did it. so there's going to be a lot of questioning going on. but in the meantime, chris, law enforcement has to satisfy themselves that there was simply
one lone gunman and that by taking this person in custody it has at least temporarily resolved the situation and stopped the ongoing shooting. >> clint, i know you're going to stay with us. i want to go to nbc's casey hunt who of course works on capitol hill for us and is live on the scene. what are you seeing now, casey? where are you? >> reporter: hi, chris. we're standing at the corner of 3rd and m street southeast, which is about three blocks up from the navy yard. in between us and the navy yard is a solid row of emergency vehicles, they have even brought in a metro bus. it's not clear why the metro bus has been brought to the scene at this point. but we are here on the ground. it's still a bit chaotic. we are hearing up to ten people have been wounded. that's the reporting from the scene. i know others from nbc have reported specific numbers as well. but at this point we're watching to see if this starts to switch over from an active shooter situation to clearing out
wounded or fatalities. we did see the helicopter fly out up over top of the parking lot where we were standing a few minutes before potentially about a medevaced victim on board. we saw the helicopter draw something up out of the navy yard building and fly away. still a very chaotic scene. we haven't heard specifically from police yet. they have not come to talk to the cameras, although they say that they plan to do that shortly. so the helicopter that flew away earlier has now also returned to the scene so we'll be watching to see what happens with that also. >> are they putting generally reporters in one area? is that what's happening? who is where you are? are there just civilians, people trying to get to work or the curious, the onlookers? >> reporter: there are quite a few onlookers and curious. the police have sort of been pushing those people block by block from the scene. a group of television cameras
have staged where we are. the police haven't been letting cameras get as close as we were a few minutes ago, which was directly across the parking lot across the street. in the beginning, police were telling us that that was a potentially dangerous area to be, because the shooter was still active and because potentially of the type of weapons that those who had gone in to try to clear the scene were using. so they were really warning people away from there. but this is a very active neighborhood. there are residences sort of on the other blocks across the way. we've seen people come out of their houses to come watch. there's also office buildings that line m street as government agencies, businesses, and a lot of people have come out of their office buildings also to watch. >> kasie hunt who will continue to report from the scene from us. i want to bring in msnbc analyst jim cavanaugh, former hostage negotiator for the atf. as you're hearing how this scene unfolded, what are your
thoughts, jim? >> well, chris, law enforcement is going to set up an on-scene command. that's the way they handle emergencies like. this so there's an on-scene commander, and tactical units from the fbi, marshal service, atf, the park police, all the responding agencies that come to help would you therein an on-scene tactical command. so it's an awful story with some death and injury. maybe the shooter has been captured and that may make it static. but to build on what clint said, you know, is there other suspects, was it going to be more than one act. so everybody has to be on their game at the moment. >> you're not going to see this winding down, even if they have the shooter in custody. they obviously have to make sure that that scene is secure. talk to me a little bit about what we're learning. we heard pete williams reporting that the shooter was heavily armed. at least one kind of long gun
and a handgun and a report earlier that he may have been armed with an ar-15. that's a military service weapon? that's something that all four services use, jim? >> right, right. that's the typical military small arm. if reports are accurate, a weapon like that can easily cause multiple deaths, and certainly against unarmed people. the situation also is developing as to motive. is it workplace violence, because it's a workplace. is it directed at the government, because it's a government facility, or could it be directed at the military because it's a military facility. so there's a lot of questions that remain. the commanders on the scene probably have some of those answers and will affect how they deal with it. is the person known to them? is he known to the workers in
there? is he a complete stranger? that's all going to play into it. >> jim cavanaugh, stand by. i want to bring in jenna johnson. a local reporter. where are you? >> i'm in our newsroom right now. and we're just trying to piece together what's happening. >> what's the latest you've been able to figure out? >> so what we're being told by police is that we have at least ten people who have been shot, including two police officers. police are thinking that this could be more than one shooter. >> more than one shooter? do you have any more information about that? >> well, again, this is very early, but police told one of my colleagues that there could be as many as three shooters, that they are pursuing all of them, that some of these shooters have been -- that they don't believe they're still on the loose, that they have either been barricaded
or taken down or contained or something like that. >> all right, jenna. let us know if you get more information about that. clint vanzant, are you still with us? >> yes, i am, chris. >> again, i just want to caution that when we have an active situation like this, you know, information comes in and sometimes it can be questionable in the chaos of the scene. reporting can change. but if there were as many as three shooters, that would change this situation dramatically. >> yeah, that would change things completely, chris. that would suggest that it had moved from a workplace violence situation to perhaps even a terrorist incident. but again, i think your caution is very good at this point. we have no confirmed information from law enforcement of multiple shooters. and as jim cavanaugh has suggested, somebody armed with an ar-15 as well as a handgun,
unfortunately would be fully capable of inflicting the death and injury that we've seen today. so until we hear something from law enforcement suggesting there's more than one active shooter, i think we're right to stay with one shooter. >> yeah. and the timeline would indicate that he could have had an hour or maybe an hour and ten minutes before he was either taken down, captured by police, so as you have pointed out plenty of times somebody armed with two weapons to wreak the kind of death and destruction that he has. you know, i have to say that i was thinking as i was watching this unfold early, and we talked, clint, about the fact that they do have active shooter drills in that building and many of the buildings. boy, you know, we've all been through it, whether it's a fire drill or something else. you kind of don't necessarily pay attention, but you realize when things happen, they can save lives. >> well, they do, chris. normally there's at least three
different courses of action that someone can take in an active shooting situation in a workplace violence or terrorist attack. number one is probably the best is to escape. get out of the building, use the fire exits, windows, whatever you can do. get away from that situation. number two is what the navy yard told people to do in this situation, is to hunker down in place. basically lock your door, turn off the light, turn the ringer on your cell phone off, get under your desk and hunker down and wait for the law enforcement teams to come in and clear the rooms. number three is what we saw those brave americans do on 9/11 in that plane that went down on pennsylvania. they made a decision to fight back. and in a situation, in a building and violence in a workplace, in a terrorist situation, if you have no other choice, chris, you look around, you find out what the best weapon you can pick up to defend yourself and that's what you have to do. >> all right. nbc's jim miklaszewski joins us
now as well. mik, from your reporting is the latest information you have ten people, including four fatalities, one shooter? >> reporter: actually we're getting a dozen wounded -- a dozen shot and as many as four people were killed when this gunman opened fire there in the navy c-system command. now according to the latest reports from a senior navy official, apparently the gunman has now been cornered in that very building where all of these shootings occurred. don't know the status of that operation as it stands now, but this navy official, a senior navy official in the naval c-system command building relying on reports from his watch team apparently has reported that a dozen shot and four fatalities, chris. >> all right, jim miklaszewski.
and as far as you know, we don't have confirmation that the dozen shot includes the suspect? >> reporter: no. as a matter of fact, it sounds as if it doesn't because the latest reports are that the federal and d.c. s.w.a.t. teams have this individual apparently cornered now somewhere in the building. those are the reports we have so far. and it's still not clear whether this individual was military, civilian, whether he was armed with an automatic weapon, a shotgun, but the initial reports now indicate without official confirmation, but this coming from a senior naval official there in the building itself, reporting 12 shot and four fatalities. >> all right. so it sounds as though there is still an active situation inside that naval building. kasie hunt is outside. what do you have for us? >> reporter: sure, chris. i'm actually standing with one sailor who works at the navy
yard. he wasn't in the building when this all happened but some of his friends are still in there. they are blasting out text messages to all of the navy personnel who are based here and the civilians also that say shelter in place, instructions stay clear of windows. all personnel continue to shelter in place. that message was sent just a few minutes ago, so clearly they are telling people this is still an active situation. we're still seeing more and more law enforcement vehicles arriving on the scene, more sirens. we've had an ambulance come and go kind of quickly past where we're standing. from the ground here there's no indication that the situation is over yet. >> has he gotten any information either from text messaging or e-mails from anybody inside that building about their situation or are these just all official texts? >> reporter: all navy personnel he says are on this text message alert system so there are official texts that are coming through. he's also spoken to friends who are in the building who are still sheltering in place.
he says that the people that he knows in the building weren't in the affected building but that they still remain there and are still sheltering in place. >> how big is this complex, do you have any idea? and how many buildings we're talking about there? >> reporter: jim miklaszewski has a better idea of the layout. but from here it spans several square blocks and there are several rows of buildings. the building in question, the sailor i spoke with described it as a place where mostly civilians work. there would be a few officers overseeing the office, but he says that it probably felt like any typical civilian office building. i spoke with one woman very briefly earlier who was in the building where this occurred and had managed to successfully flee. she wasn't ready to talk about it just based on how difficult it was to watch. but she did say that people were sitting in their cubicles when this happened and she hypothesized about what the shooter might have been attempting to actually accomplish. but she didn't know.
at that point she just tried to exit as quickly as she could. >> give us a sense, we're seeing a live -- is that a live picture of the helicopter that's hovering there or is that tape that we're seeing? >> reporter: i can hear the helicopter hovering, so the helicopter is at someplace nearby. there is a large building that's blocking my aerial view of where the navy yard is at this point. like i said, we can hear the chopper. >> all right, kasie hunt who is on the scene for us. let me bring in bill bratton. we are getting a lot of conflicting reports, but it seems like we have a strong indication from a senior navy official who is inside that building that they have the gunman cornered. whether or not he could be injured i think is still probably open to question. there was an earlier report that he had been injured. but then what would be going on right now? >> what's going on right now is the idea of, one, trying to ascertain is there one or more
gunman, to try to certainly contain that one or more gunman within -- in this case it appears that all of this activity is occurring within this one building. i've heard it described as the riverside building or building 197 there was earlier information. as you might understand, everything is very preliminary at this time in terms of the facts, the information that we're getting. i've heard within the last five minutes ten shot and then maybe as many as 12 shot. you've already heard one suspect described as a tall, black male dressed in black with what is believed to be an assault-type weapon as well as possibly additional weapons, including a handgun. other information that was received was that a law enforcement officer had been shot twice in the leg and had been medevaced from the site.
so those are some of the preliminary pieces of information out there. but what's going on right now is you've got the duality of the situation that it's on a federal facility. you've got obviously local washington, d.c., police involved right now with the various federal police agencies. oftentimes the security at those federal agencies is provided by civilian contractors. very quickly they are trying to work out their incident management command structure. my assumption is washington, d.c., is they would have had some of these protocols worked out in advance if there were to be an incident on a federal facility. so they will be attempting to straighten that out as well as to control and contain the various law enforcement agencies that are responding. >> let me ask you about that, bill, as someone who headed both the l.a. and new york police departments. you know how these situations, how chaotic they are. so we know that obviously you've got s.w.a.t. teams that are
responding to the scene. we were listing off, first of all, the first response would have been from the d.c. police but you have naval security personnel, park police, capitol police, u.s. marshals, a tremendous response there. how and who would coordinate that and be in charge at the command center? how does that work, bill? >> that is the problem in the nation's capital in particular that you have. the navy has their own entity. certainly just about every entity there in the capital has s.w.a.t. teams that are immediately available because of the nature of the nation's capital. and in terms of the protocols that these would have been normally established beforehand to ensure just what you're seeing there, this multiple response from multiple agencies so they're not stepping all over each other. again, the fbi would normally come into play very quickly. this is on a military base. this is similar to the ft. hood
situation several years ago in terms of on that army base, so that i can't speak in terms of who would in fact be in charge there, but i would have to believe that they would have had protocols in place to have an entity in charge of all those responding entities. >> thank you so much, bill. we will be getting back to you. let me go to pete williams. pete, i understand that you have an update on fatalities? >> reporter: well, we know that there are some. the precise number, as i think is very understandable in this rapidly unfolding situation, is not clear. we believe it's at least four fatalities, at least ten shooting victims overall. that number could be higher. a number that includes at least two law enforcement officials, one from the district of columbia, the d.c. metro police who have the lead in this situation, and one federal agent. we're not sure from which agency. so we believe that this is in its final stages.
there have been several reports now that police had identified the area where the shooter was, that he had been wounded. we know the shooter is a male who was heavily armed. but these numbers of the victims are certainly going to change here in the next hour or so. >> and what can you tell us about what seem to be some conflicting reports or at least it's very difficult to ascertain reports of how many shooters might have been involved here, pete? >> reporter: you know, we've heard nothing to indicate it's more than one at this point. there's still a lot going on here. i don't think anything is for certain at this point, but so far we haven't heard anything to indicate it's more than one. >> give us an indication of what you're hearing in terms of the lockdown situation there. how broad is it? do you know, pete? and i know the white house is being kept apprised of this and has suggested that people listen to local officials, although we heard from kasie hunt there
certainly people in that immediate neighborhood coming out to try to see what they could find out. >> reporter: i think the lockdown at the early stages was broader than it is now. some of the subway stations that were initially closed are open now. there's nothing to make them think this has spread beyond the navy yard and they do have what they call a secure perimeter around the navy yard. so the lockdown in the immediate area in terms of traffic, subway stations and so forth may be drawing inward now to a smaller area. but it's having effects beyond the area. for example, we just saw a helicopter in the air. because of the need to have the helicopters operate safely over the washington navy yard where this is happening, air traffic has been restricted in and out of washington national airport, which is right near there. that's the airport there. it's not shut down entirely, but it has been restricted. >> all right, pete williams,
thank you very much. i just want to update you that jim miklaszewski has been continuing to work the phones. two senior navy officials now tell him that there have been multiple fatalities. again, most widely reported is four. someone at the scene tells pete that 12 people were shot, four dead, and the shooter is now apparently cornered. let's go to nbc's peter alexander, who's at the white house. we reported just a short time ago, peter, that the president was continuing to be briefed on this developing situation? >> reporter: yeah, chris, that's exactly right. we've been told that the president has been preebriefed several times from his homeland security and counterterrorism director as well as from his deputy chief of staff. the white house has directed all the resources to continue to work directly with the fbi and the navy for providing whatever support they may need as well as with local officials on this
topic as well. the white house again trying to direct attention to the effort taking place at the washington navy yard right now urging people to follow the orders provided by local officials in that community right now, which include sheltering in place at the time. again, the president with those remarks saying he has been briefed. he does have some remarks of his own. it's unclear whether he'll make any statement about the washington navy yard when he takes to the podium about an hour from now, chris. he's supposed to be speaking on the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis in an effort today to focus on the economy, but again obviously most eyes in washington are focused only several miles from here where that shooting took place. one other quick note to tell you. i spoke with the u.s. secret service and they say none of their operations today have been affected by this shooting. >> all right, peter alexander, thank you so much. don andreas is on the scene, a staffer for congressman horsford and he joins me from there.
what can you tell us? where were you, what did you see, what did you hear? >> i was running late to work. i live about a parking lot away from the navy yard. as i go downstairs i notice a swarm of folks dressed in civilian uniforms from the navy. i stopped and asked what's going on, i need to get to work. they said there's an active shooter, you should stay safe and go inside. i proceeded to my car and drove to work. i saw police boats in the water and i start to drive up new jersey. i took a couple of photos. there was a man lying on the corner just across from the d.o.t. and you see people are definitely scared. the police are just arriving and putting caution tape out. i don't know what happened to the man, i don't know if it's related. all i know is people just began running up to him and tending to him and people were definitely scared and so was i so i just proceeded to go on. just on the capitol grounds you could tell there was a lot of security. capitol police had their rifles out.
they were much more stringent about checking everything and definitely a sense of panic both at the navy yard around my apartment and at work. >> you would describe it as a sense of panic? >> i would say around where the man was laying down, there were panic as people were trying to get to work at the d.o.t. that was a little bit more panicked, i think. when i first saw the man, no one was tending to him and just in those two seconds, people started running up to them. maybe they were nurses or doctors and not at work yet or whatnot but they were definitely tending to him. i don't know what happened to him but he was on the floor and it was just unfolding right there. >> is anything be said at the offices where you are? are there any -- obviously going in and out, people who haven't been into these capitol buildings, there's pretty strong security on any given day but beyond that is it business as usual? >> i think it's business as usual. we're in recess today but there's a lot more capitol police visible. they have a lot more weapons
out. so i think that you get that sense of tension. people are definitely aware of what's happening just a few blocks south of here. >> thank you very much. don andres, an eyewitness and a staffer there on capitol hill. i'm chris jansing. it is 31 minutes past the hour. we are following breaking developments on that deadly shooting rampage at the washington, d.c., navy yard. you can see the scene there. the number of emergency vehicles. nbc news says a senior naval source tells us four people have been killed, eight more wounded. the source also says that the shooter is down. we also have conflicting report from nbc station wrc sources that tell wrc there may have been two shooters. but again the latest information that we got from jim miklaszewski from top naval officials who were actually inside that build is that the shooter has been cornered. we also know that he was heavily
armed. washington hospital center says it has received the wounded. in fact we saw some of them being taken by helicopter, airlifting the victims, rushing them in for treatment. and schools in the area have been on lockdown since this all started. it all started to unfold about 8:20 this morning when three shots were fired. initial reports were it took about an hour and ten minutes for them to get to the gunman. u.s. capitol police as we just heard have increased their presence all around the capitol building as a precaution and air traffic has been temporarily shut down at reagan national airport. let's bring in nbc's jim miklaszewski. jim, what's the latest you're learning? >> reporter: well, senior navy officials tell nbc news that at least a dozen people were shot in this shooting rampage at the navy yard and that four are reported to have been killed. now, those shot include a federal and a civilian police officer. the scene described to navy
officials as being so chaotic that one individual was hiding under his desk on the telephone and described in realtime how the gunman walked up to a base police officer on one of the upper floors and opened fire, seriously wounding that officer. now, apparently, according to the latest reports, they have the gunman, who was reportedly heavily armed with at least one long gun, a shotgun or rifle, they -- apparently they have that person cornered in the building. but the search continues for possible accomplices. so far we've only had reports of one gunman, but there are some indications that this may have involved more than one gunman. you know, in all due diligence, they're searching every inch of that building to determine if there were others involved in this shooting. the identities of the wounded and dead, of course, have not
been released. and this is still considered an active shooting because that shooter has not been taken into custody but is simply cornered, chris. >> do we know if they're getting people out of the building at this point, mik? >> reporter: i'm sure that it's been -- it's been two hours since the shooting began. i would imagine that building is pretty much emptied at this point. like i said, the scene was described as chaotic. once the bullets started flying, those not involved in security sought cover or ran from the building. >> what do we know about the police presence there? we obviously know the s.w.a.t. team, d.c. police, what else can you tell us about who's on scene? >> reporter: well, i mean there would be military base police on the scene, but the local authorities and the federal officers with their s.w.a.t. teams would be able to deal most expeditiously and efficiently with this kind of incident. they have the usual kind of base
security on the perimeter and in some of the buildings, but this is a -- considered a fairly secure building. it's surrounded by a high brick wall. anybody who enters has to go through iron gates. if you don't have an i.d. card, you and your vehicles have to be inspected. so one might assume, it's too early to say because we don't know if the shooter was a civilian or military, but one might assume that he at least had a building or a base i.d. to get that kind of weaponry into the complex itself. >> thanks very much, mik. we are now told seven district of columbia schools are on lockdown, obviously trying to keep this situation in a controlled situation since at least if there's one shooter, he's cornered but not in custody and still the possibility that there might be someone else out there. nbc's kasie hunt is live on the scene for us.
what are you seeing and hearing now? >> reporter: chris, if you're talking to me, i lost you. >> can you hear me? >> reporter: i can hear you now, yes. >> what are you seeing and hearing now? we just got the report that this is an active situation confirmed to us by jim miklaszewski. >> reporter: the events here and the scene here on the ground would definitely reflect that. we've had two helicopters now, both are circling pretty low. none of the emergency response vehicles have really departed aside from occasionally we've seen ambulances. obviously possibly taking the wounded to nearby hospitals, washington hospital center. the weather here is beginning to match the mood. it's a steady rain that has come in over top of the navy yard. the number of first responders on the ground continues to grow. there are more and more people arriving on the scene. i saw an agent from the atf here in addition to the other law enforcement agencies we've
already seen capitol police, park police, transit police, they're all here. the fire engines that are here are from all across the city, all different numbers indicating the units that they have driven here from. m street is the street that the navy yard sits on and it's for several blocks just solid ambulances, fire trucks. here's one ambulance, you may be able to see this, just pulling away from the scene right as we speak. >> we were speaking earlier, kasie, with the congressional aide who took some of the pictures that we've been showing of what apparently civilians helping someone on the street, we don't know whether or not that person that was down was directly related to this. but he described a scene of panic. how would you describe the scene when you got there? >> reporter: when i first got here, there was a lot of confusion. i was probably a block away. i did not see people who rushed out immediately as they did, but there was a small gathering in
the parking lot across the street of people who had been inside the navy yard. i know i heard you talking about whether or not people were totally evacuated. from those i talked to it sounds like some have gotten out and some are still actually inside. >> kasie hunt, thank you. nbc's tom costello is also live on the scene. tom, set the scene for us where you are exactly and what you're seeing and hearing there. >> reporter: good morning to you. just to give you a sense if you know washington at all, we're in southeast d.c. i'm about a block. i can see nationals baseball stadium over to my left and reagan national airport is directly behind the camera by two or three miles as the crow flies. they have had their operations disrupted this morning because of the ongoing action here, especially the air operations with medevac and police helicopters moving in and out. the scene is about three or four blocks down but they have established multiple rings, perimeter rings coming out from the navy yard. at last we heard, we are reporting, nbc news reporting
that 10 to 12 people are thought to be shot, four people thought to be dead and that we do have police officers among those who are wounded. i can also tell you that about 3,000 people or so work at the navy yard, both civilian and military at the c-systems command center. this is a part of the navy yard the focus is on. as we understand, research and development of new technologies, new ships, that type of thing. you do need a clearance to work there, so that raises many questions about how a shooter would have gained access to that facility. we arrived here at approximately -- i got here probably at about 9:10 or maybe 9:20. the shooting occurred at 8:20. when i got here, still tremendous assets coming in here. local police, federal police, atf officers, s.w.a.t. teams moving in to continue to beef up that initial response with the initial s.w.a.t. responders on the scene. still ambulances came in as well
as came out of the scene. i thought i just heard a helicopter. i believe it took off from right behind that building behind me. it is still very much a fluid situation here. we're not at all clear yet whether the gunman has been cornered or not. there's some conflicting information on that. chris. >> that's the latest information we have and we've been cautioning this throughout the hour, that when you have an active situation like this, things change very quickly. getting firm information can be difficult. let me ask you about the tentacles of this instance department -- incident. increased security around the capitol, but you talked about the disruption at reagan airport. obviously that's part of your beat as well. how active an airport is reagan? what could the domino effect be for air traffic around the country? >> reporter: of course reagan is a critically important airport here in washington, d.c. it's really the airport of official washington where members of congress, the military, whatever, come in and
out of that airport because it sits right on the potomac river. there was a ground stop in place there this morning as the air activity was under way. we've been led to believe that that ground stop has been lifted and departures would be allowed to continue again but it is still, as you expect when you hear this much helicopter activity overhead, there's a tremendous amount of air traffic control involved there. in addition, the d.o.t., department of transportation's headquarters is right next to the navy yard. they're on a lockdown situation as well. and capitol police, and the u.s. capitol is only about maybe a mile and a half, two miles as the crow flies over my shoulder here, they are on a heightened state of alert as you might expect. they are always on a very heightened state of alert over at the capitol, but you might imagine right now they have gone to even a more forward-leaning posture. >> tom costello, thank you for that update. nbc's pete williams has been working the phones throughout the morning. pete, i guess one of the outstanding questions here, the last we heard from mik was that
at least one shooter, believed to be cornered. do you have any new information about that? >> reporter: you know, i am struck by how little we know about this given that it's been going on now for two hours. two hours plus. it still isn't clear to us precisely how it started. we don't know whether it's just one person with a gun. we know at least it's one heavily armed man with a long gun and a handgun. we've heard conflicting reports on precisely what kind of weapon he was using -- >> if i could interrupt you for just a second, pete. clint has been working the phones, clint vanzant, former fbi profiler, nbc analyst, cl t clint, you do have more information? >> i do. my challenge is the same as pete's, that this information as you suggest is changing rapidly. as of about 15 minutes ago, chris, there were two different reports coming in. one indicated the gunman had barricaded himself inside of a
room or office either on the third or fourth floor. the second report suggested law enforcement tactical teams had the lone gunman trapped between the third and the fourth floor. that would suggest perhaps in a stairway leading between the two. should either one of those be the case, law enforcement is in a much better situation. they could bring in negotiators and try to talk him out. they could introduce gas, tear gas into those locations and try to flush him out. but the last thing they want to do is to provoke another armed confrontation. if they have him isolated in an area in which they're in control. >> and you would think at this point possibly, given the fact that there were so many people, clint, who saw him and the fact that you need some sort of identification in order to get into that building, you can't just -- this is a fairly secure building, and so he may have been recognized.
it certainly would help the situation if they know who this person is and they can already, if there is a negotiator, be getting some information about what might have provoked this. >> yeah, absolutely. as myself and you also have jim on from atf, a former negotiator, the best thing we could have would be some background on the person, what his name is, so we can start to talk to him. now, law enforcement obviously has the capability to resolve this tactically if they have to. but that's never their first choice. they want to get this guy out alive. obviously we want to find out what was his motive. was anybody else involved, were there any other plans, any other people involved. so there is a lot you'd like to get from this person if we're able to take him into custody. and i'm sure the police, fbi, marshal service, atf, every agency on scene is working toward that goal if they haven't achieved it already. >> and whether he's barricaded
himself inside a room or office or is trapped in a stairway, we've heard absolutely no reports there are any hostages involved, which obviously changes the situation as well. >> that would change it drastically. but again if law enforcement has him confined even in a situation like that, chris, that's not necessarily information that they would be willing to impart. they wouldn't want anything to impact on their negotiations, their ability to resolve this verbally as opposed to tactically. so it's going to take a while before we get the information. i think the public and the media may be frustrated, but law enforcement is doing everything they can to preserve lives. we know there are reports of at least four people dead. a total of 12 or more injured. if we take our time right now, law enforcement appears to be in control of the situation. time is now on their hands, chris. they want to use that in the best way possible.
>> and obviously, clint, in any situation, in the case even of a single shooter, they have to secure that scene and it's a big scene. how do they do that? how do they give assurances? let's say that this guy is either barricaded in a room or trapped in a stairwell. how do they give assurances that they give the all clear elsewhere? >> well, they would have other tactical teams and police officers inside. again, chris, this is a large building. we're told about 3,000 people work in and around it. so they would have to clear each floor. let's say you and i were members of the tactical team. you'd have to be outside every office. police, fbi, atf. let those people in each individual office know who you are. perhaps there is a mass tweet that's going out or a telephone call to each office. then we have to clear the people out of every office and then put officers on each end of the hall
and by any door that would lead into there to make sure nobody else could get in and out. then we could say, okay, the first floor is secured and in the hand of law enforcement. then we have to keep working up and do that with every floor until we guarantee ourselves we've got the entire building cleared of any people or casualties and we've got the shooter isolated and then we can deal with him on our own time. there's no sense of urgency if there's no hostages and if we know where he's at. when we try to get too urgent, that's when people can get hurt. so right now time is an ally and law enforcement wants to use that ally in the very best possible way. >> clint van zandt will be staying with us. nbc's kasie hunt is on the scene. i understand you've just talked to a police officer there? >> reporter: yes. i spokeswoman for the metropolitan police department came and spoke briefly with some
of the reporters who were gathered here. she says that they're going to provide us with a more extensive update shortly, although she didn't give us a time frame. all she was willing to say was that this was still, quote, a very fluid situation. so confirmation of all of the rest of the reporting we've been hearing, that this is still an ongoing situation and that it has not yet been resolved. and the one thing also listening to mr. van zandt talk about the atf, we did see several atf agents walk past us with badges so that agency is definitely here on the scene. >> nothing again that you've seen, and you've been there a couple of hours now, to indicate that there is in any way any standing down of the official presence there? >> reporter: i got here about a half an hour after initial reports say the first shooting was at approximately 8:20 this morning. i was here about 20, 25 minutes after that. since then it's only been a growing presence. we've seen the ambulances move around and seen that helicopter
pull somebody out of one of the buildings and fly off, but that helicopter has now returned and is still hovering very low over the building. from what we can see here it's still a chaotic and very much active scene that it was a few hours ago. >> how far away, you're about four blocks? >> reporter: we're about four blocks down. the navy yard is at 6th and m street, we're at 2nd or 3rd and m street where we can see the navy yard gate sort of from the side. from where we are, in fact a few blocks behind us are also blocked off. from where we're standing all the way past the navy yard several blocks, it's just solid emergency vehicles, fire trucks parked back to back all bringing first responders to the scene. we've seen several black s.w.a.t. trucks also go in and out. more than one s.w.a.t. team. we've seen the u.s. marshals, the federal protective service from homeland security is here also. so just a really continuing presence here this morning. >> all right, kasie hunt on the
scene for us. again, what we are hoping for is that the metro police, and again in a situation like that, the d.c. police would be the first responders and were on the scene right after these initial reports came in. at about 8:20 this morning there was a report of a lone gunman opening fire and wounding several victims. we now believe there may be as many as 12 people who have been hurt. at least four fatalities. two law enforcement officials hurt. a d.c. police officer and a federal officer. we got a very dramatic report of a person who was hiding under a desk inside his office and walked up -- saw this gunman walk up to a base police officer and shoot him, critically wounding him. we've seen these helicopters at least in one case lifting one of the injured to area hospitals. we know that they have been arriving at area hospitals. again, the numbers remains a very fluid situation.
joining me on the phone, bill bratton, the former new york and l.a. police official. bill, let's talk about what we just heard from clint and get your take on what might be going on inside that building, that either the shooter has barricaded himself inside a room or office, he could be trapped in a stairwell. in either case you would think there would be negotiators who are working this situation right now. >> that's right. as soon as this began to occur that he would have got a lockdown shelter in place message going out to people in that building. that scenario that was just described, one of those people in the building who supposedly witnessed the shooting of a security officer, there was a report that this individual, the shooter, may have been armed with an assault-type weapon as well as a handgun. that's one of the stories i heard is that the handgun may have been actually taken from the security officer so that's
just another piece, very preliminary, in this. this may move very quick low from an active shooter moving to one who's now a barricaded person. the concern would then be in that individual is now in fact cornered or isolated. is he by himself, meaning as a lone active shooter. does he potentially have hostages in the location where he is located. so there will be an effort made very, very quickly to try to basically engage in communication with that individual to start trying to ascertain what the circumstances are in the area in which he is now contained or believed to be contained. again, we're still dealing with preliminary information that he may have been wounded himself. there were earlier reports of maybe more than one shooter. none of those verified that i'm aware of. so what's going on right now is the idea of basically you try to account for all personnel, all
people who would have been in that building, those offices, any of those buildings usually require people to check in to go into the facilities. if that's one of those type buildings, it will make it easy trying to ascertain who was in the building at that time of the incident. there's a lot of moving parts at this particular time as you might expect. >> you talked about the fact when we spoke earlier about establishing a command center and making sure that all the different pieces of this very complicated puzzle were brought together in one room and presumably with a handful of people or one person in charge. 8:20 is when this started, bill. we believe that this shooter would have been contained or cornered, however you want to phrase it, at 9:30. it's now 10:50. so we're looking at almost an hour and a half since that happened. you have still schools, i believe, seven schools in the d.c. area in lockdown, so when you talk about shrinking the perimeter, accounting for all personnel, reasonably how
difficult a process is that? obviously what you want to do is have an abundance of caution but not keep people in a state of heightened alert any longer than you have to. >> that's right. the difficulty is determining, okay, what is your lockdown perimeter, what does it need to be. certainly there's always special concerns involving schools. i had a lot of experience in this in los angeles where some of these lockdowns have gone on for extended periods of time. that's a precaution that you really do need to take. they still have no sense as i understand it whether it's just one lone shooter but the preliminary information is that it is one lone shooter who's been contained within a facility. but what's going on now is to try and slow it down. if there's been no active shooting going on, the idea that he's not injuring additional people, that allows them to slow it down, to start opening up a line of communication or attempt to open up a line of
communication, ascertain and try to account for all people that were in that building or that location. so the stage now is also firming up incident command posts, who's actually running the show. this is a u.s. military base that has a combination, if i understand it correctly, or military personnel has security on the base as well as private contract. but the fbi would not basically take over this incident unless it had to do or deemed to be a terrorist incident. so then ncis or the naval component would be potentially the lead agency, although my understanding is that the washington metropolitan police may have been and may still remain in that capacity at this time. i don't have specific information on that. the idea is to slow it down, open up a line of communication, ensure that additional people are not being harmed or injured.
i'm not aware of any additional shots having been fired now for a considerable length of time. is that information correct? >> that is correct. we have not heard for several hours now that there have been any reports of shots fired. >> that's basically allowing them to ascertain is this individual or individuals, is he still alive, is he wounded, is he barricaded in an area where he is in a position to still cause harm to hostages, if in fact he has taken any, as well as there may be still people who are sheltering in place accessible to him. so there's another component trying to identify. where is everybody and is everybody accounted for. >> thank you very much, bill bratton. we appreciate that. we're going to continue to follow what is a fast-developing
situation. as many as a dozen people who have been shot, four of them fatally, and we believe that a gunman is cornered inside that building at the naval yard in washington, d.c. that's going to do it for me. i'm chris jansing. thomas roberts picks up our coverage. thomas. >> chris, good morning to you. good morning, everybody. as chris was pointing out, this is a fast and fluid information. we want to reset if you're just joining us for our breaking news here on msnbc. as we know right now what's going on, the naval yard shooting where 12 people were injured today and we know at least four confirmed deaths, we look at these live pictures outside the navy yard where a senior u.s. navy official is now confirming those four deaths. at least ten have been shot. at least one heavily armed gunman now has been cornered and that shooter was reportedly on different floors in one of the buildings there on site. we had original reports that they have been able to corner him and we're waiting on word exactly what that means. now, at least two law enforcement officials are
believed to be among the injured. one reportedly shot in both legs. the gunman was first reported inside the navy c-systems command headquarters at 8:20 a.m. eastern. that is on a busy monday morning, as most people are returning to work. this is a complex of buildings where some 3,000 people do go to work there, civilian and military combined. as you can see emergency personnel have flooded what is still a very, very active scene. now, we know the president has been briefed on this shooting. the d.c. department of transportation, several area schools are on lockdown. seven area schools to be accurate are on lockdown right now. joining me on the phone is nbc's kasie hunt. what's the latest you're seeing? >> reporter: good morning, thomas. well, it's still chaos here. first responders are still coming in. we've got two helicopters that are circling the scene. we're standing on the corner of 3rd and m street southeast in washington, which is just a few blocks up from the navy yard
itself, which is at 6th and m street. i just spoke with an eyewitness or a woman who was in one of the buildings where the shooter was initially this morning. she described to us being in the cafeteria there around 8:20. she said that she heard three quick pops and then five more. so a total of seven or so shots. she described the situation just of chaos. there was a female security guard who was telling her and others who were there just to get out of the building as fast as they could. and so she ran. ever since then, we have had some people, i've talked to other eyewitnesses who have friends who are still sheltering in place inside the navy yard while others obviously have gotten out and are now still many of them remain here on the streets. we have a steady rain here sort of matching the mood of the day with this tragic unfolding of events with four people confirmed dead. there are a litany of law enforcement agencies who are here from across the region.
a number of federal law enforcement agencies. i'm standing not too far away from a frup group of atf agents one man wearing a hat that says ncis. >> we are getting reports from wrc and one of their reporters says they heard gunfire inside the navy yard building recently, at least one, possibly more shots fired. you have not heard anything like that, correct? >> reporter: we're a little bit too far away possibly to hear something like that. we also have these choppers circling over head, so we weren't able to hear that kind of activity. but the way that law enforcement is postured here hasn't changed at all the last couple of hours so our understanding is that this still is active and it's certainly possible there have been shots fired recently. >> you talk about it still being active and most people heeding that shelter